Attempts to Overturn Overtime Rule at Play

overtime 2 lowBy Pat O’Connor, IWLA Washington Representative

Today, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) introduced H.J.Res. 95, a Congressional Review Act resolution to nullify the overtime rule with all Republican committee members as original cosponsors. The resolution is identical to the Senate CRA resolution, S.J.Res.34.

“Our nation’s overtime rules need to be modernized, but the Department of Labor’s extreme and partisan approach will lead to damaging consequences that the American people simply cannot afford,” Rep. Foxx said. “This resolution will protect workers, students, small business owners, and vulnerable individuals from a rule that will do more harm than good.”

According to her statement, the overtime rule is will only hurt the country by stifling flexibility, limiting career development, hurting young job seekers, jeopardizing services provided by nonprofits, and creating new hurdles for small business.

Here’s some background on the Congressional Review Act (CRA): The CRA creates a period of 60 “session days” (days in which Congress is in session) during which Congress can use expedited procedures to overturn a regulation. During this period, Congress can pass a resolution of disapproval, which will not be subject to the procedural requirements in the Senate that make a filibuster possible. However, the president is still able to veto the resolution. Therefore, as a practical matter, the CRA procedure is most useful when the White House switches parties following an election.

Congress has only struck down one rule under the CRA. In 2001, Republicans repealed the Clinton Administration’s ergonomics rule. The OSHA rule was issued in November 2000, near the end of the Clinton administration, but the CRA passed in March 2001.

Because of the complicated way the CRA counts legislative days, no one knows for sure when the 60 session day clock starts, but it likely was mid-to-late May. This would mean that the overtime rule could potentially face CRA disapproval after January 20, 2017.

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